http://www.bootstraprei.com - Getting started investing on a shoe string budget? This is how I did it.
Very little money – Let’s face it – most young people are pretty broke. Maybe you’ve got a good job and have so much disposable income you don’t know what to do with it, but chances are – you’re living pretty close to paycheck-to-paycheck.
Very little life experience – I know, when I was twenty-one I thought I knew quite a bit. I didn’t. I didn’t know anything. Now today, at 27, I think I know everything. I don’t.
Video games are so appealing – Let’s face it – sometimes all we want to do is play some video games, hang out on facebook, and watch TV.
Chasing girls (or guys) or chasing kids – From the moment puberty hits, boys and girls of the young persuasion have a strong need to find that “special someone” and spend all their time together. After that, comes the kids that require every waking minute. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for investing.
Poor credit – College and the years that follow can be rough for a lot of young people, as the schools do a terrible time teaching about financial intelligence. Or perhaps we just didn’t listen. Either way, most of us have needed to wade through the credit card years and will spend many years recovering.
No like-minded social group – I don’t have many friends who read my writing. It’s not that they don’t like me, or care about me, it’s that they simply don’t care about real estate – and that’s perfectly fine. I’m not bitter. You will probably find a similar situation. It makes it tough, however, to find motivation to get into real estate when you don’t have a community that fosters financial education and growth. (**Special note: if you are an old friend or a family member of mine, leave me a comment below… let’s see who’s reading my stuff! )
So what’s a person to do, faced with all these disadvantages? I’m hoping to help offer some insight on that, being one who has been through it. The following is a collection of the lessons I have learned.
To Start Investing In Real Estate, Harness What You’ve Got
Now that I’ve made you feel bad about all the things that are not going so well in your life, let’s talk about the things that you do have.
Motivation– You’ve already read 600 words of this blog post about real estate investing, so you are clearly motivated. Use that. The older you get, it seems, the less motivated you are. As people get older, they seem to get more complacent in their situation, and no longer shoot for the stars.
Today I had a conversation with a man about how to buy an airplane. Am I anywhere near ready to buy an airplane? Heck no. But I’ve got goals, and I’ve got ambition – and I’m going to buy an airplane, even if it takes me the next ten years of working that plan. This is the power of motivation when you are young. (Be sure to check up with me in ten years and I’ll take you for a ride on my plane…)
Technology– You’ve got a firm grasp on how the internet works, how to handle social media, how to use a smart phone, and how to make a spreadsheet. Even if you can’t do everything – chances are you’ve got a friend (probably on Facebook) who can get it done for you. Use this.
You’ve also got resources like BiggerPockets. Our parent’s generation didn’t have this wealth of knowledge and community – but we do. Use it. Jump into the Forums and ask question. Technology can be a force for terrible time-wasting, or for terrific growth. Which will you use it for?
Time– Finally, you’ve got the most powerful force in the universe: time. You aren’t looking at forced retirement in five years. You’ve got the next twenty or thirty years to crush it. If you create a solid plan now, and simply follow that plan, you are going to have to work hard not to retire a millionaire. For more on my specific plan, check out my article, “How to Make A Million Dollars in Real Estate.”
Where Do I Go Next?
Time is ticking.
You are getting old, fast. You aren’t going to be the “whiz kid” for long, so it’s time to start. Evaluate where you are, where you want to be, and the path you need to get there. If you are unsure of any of that – it’s okay. Go post your questions, fears, troubles, whatever in the BiggerPockets Forums. Start connecting with some of the brilliant real estate minds here on BiggerPockets (or with the not so brilliant ones, like me!)
What are you waiting for? Another round of Modern Warfare III? Another Facebook picture of a Cat?
What are your struggles when getting started? Or, if you are “old” already – what’s your advice for the younger ones? Leave your comments below and let’s chat!
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